Austria: The Peaks of Stubai Valley and a Wilde Wasser Weg
Stubaier Höhenweg is a unique trekking circuit situated at the altitude from 2 000 and 3 000 meters. It crosses many peaks around the valley and it goes along several mountain cabins such as Starkenburger Hütte, Franz-Senn Hütte, Neue Regensburger Hütte, Dresdner Hütte located near the ski slope under the glacier. Then the trail goes back and passes Sulzenau Hütte, Nürnberger Hütte, Bremer Hütte and Innsbrucker Hütte. Considered one of the most beautiful trails in the Alps, the trail is 120 kilometers long and it takes about 8 days to complete. The beginning and the end of the trail is at Neustift village. The hiking can be split into several stages as every cabin is reachable from the valley.
Certainly, not every climber is physically fit enough to engage in alpine tourism. However, everybody makes time to visit one of the most popular tourist attractions in the other end of the valley – Grawa waterfall. It is easy to reach. There are two roads running to the waterfall. One goes from Grawa Alma and the other one goes from the parking lot under the waterfall. Both trails go through forests. But don't worry, there are no tree roots and other pifalls on the way. It takes about 5 minutes of walk in both cases. Therefore, people of any age can take this trip. There is a wooden platform under the waterfall featuring ergonomically designed benches offering the vista over the waterfall while comfortably sitting. Grawa waterfall is 150 meters high, its width depends on the volume of water melting on glaciers, the maximal recorded width is 85 meters.
There is a trail following the waterfall up to Sulzenau Alm and Sulzenau Hütte. This trail is a part of Wilde Wasser Weg which is a trail along the river. It starts in the valley, passes this cabin and runs up to the glacier above it. There are mostly wooden steps along Grawa waterfall and there are two lookout points where you can see the waterfall. Once you get to the direction board, you are done with steep climbing. To go to Sulzenau Alma, you have to turn to the left and follow the contour line. For a while, about 15 minutes, you will walk between steep mountains but then the vista of plateau. The most beautiful structure here is Sulzenau Alm (1 890 m) an amazing cabin featuring a snack bar and a joiner's workshop. The immediate area around Alm features mostly tree trunks shaped into various figures. A river flows across the plateau. Sulzenau waterfall feeds it with water. It is 200 meters high and the drop over is at 2 100 meters.
Sulzenau waterfall dominates the rocky wall. Yet Sulzenau Hütte cabin (2 191 m) is not least impressive. It is a mountain cabin featuring amazing vista. To get there, you have to climb there from the right side, which takes approx. 45 minutes. Alternatively, you can climb along the waterfall across steep terrain which takes about 60 minutes. At Sulzenau Hütte, you can see the nearby glacier with Blaue Lacke below it. Making a trip to there is one possible way hwo to spend time around here. Grünausee is another lake located bit further. Wilder Freiger (3 418 m) is a great opportunity for a day-long trip. There is no cabin along the way so take some food with you. You will walk on snow and glacier. Therefore, crampons and an ice axe are a must. In case you don't own this equipment but you have a ferrata set with a helmet, try the via ferrata trail along Wilde Wasser Klettersteig.
Text and photos: Martina Brožková
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